Sides clash ahead of fire service's four day strike

PUBLISHED: 15:12 30 October 2014 | UPDATED: 15:12 30 October 2014

A previous strike at Hatfield Fire Station

A previous strike at Hatfield Fire Station

Archant

Firefighters will walk out for four days on Friday, in an ongoing dispute over pay and pensions.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) will go on strike at 6pm on Friday.

They are due to return at 6pm on Tuesday as part of a national protest.

The walkout is happening in the build-up to Bonfire Night, which is on Wednesday next week.

The union says it has little choice after talks with the Government stalled, but the move has been branded “ill-conceived” by a Hertfordshire safety chief.

Councillor Richard Thake who is responsible for community safety at Herts County Council, said: “We’re extremely disappointed that the Fire Brigades Union has announced yet more strikes.

“This ill-conceived strike will leave the people of Hertfordshire at increased risk.”

But the chief fire officer admitted that responding to calls would be harder.

Roy Wilsher said: “With fewer resources our ability to respond to incidents is reduced, therefore I urge the public to play their part again and take extra care during the strike action.”

And he added: “We continue to hope that the Government and FBU can resolve their dispute and that further walkouts can be avoided.”

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “Firefighters will not stand by and see our members’ pension rights destroyed by a Government which does not give a damn about the safety or well-being of firefighters in the long term.”

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